Taking on the wise and faithless of the world
He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
The initial times when I really started trying to understand scriptures while reading them, this particular scripture did intrigue me. My question was why did Jesus take spit and dust from the ground to make a paste to apply on the eyes of the blind man to make him see. Also this was not the only weird healing that Jesus did in this way in this town. In Mark 8:23 in this same town Jesus heals another blind man by taking him out of town far from the crowd Jesus applies His spit on to his eyes and then asks him if he could see. He says he could see somewhat and then again Jesus touches his eyes and then this man's sight is fully restored. Here Jesus looked like a struggling healer. Did not Jesus have authority to heal him instantly and did He need to apply spit? Also Jesus knew when He would tell him not to let anyone He would go out and tell even more.
There are 3 healings recording in the Bible where Jesus used spit to heal, 2 in the town of Bethsaida and 1 in Decapolis (which was a town mostly full of Greeks). In both these places Jesus performed great miracles yet these people failed to believe in Jesus. They did get fascinated for a while when the miracles were performed but soon they went back to square one state of unbelief.
We can understand the miracle in today’s message by the traditions of the people who dwelled in that region. There were 2 fluids out of man which according to traditions when put on another person was like condemning or damning that soul, one was spit and other urine.
We can see this tradition also in Islam about 600 years later; spitting on a person or urinating on a person according to their belief would cause that soul to go to hell. Even if one's own urine by mistake fell on one's self it was considered a serious matter that is why Mohammad while urinating would scout down like a woman and urinate in a bowl, just to avoid his own urine from making him impure by mistake [recorded in the Hadiths and other religious books of the Muslims]. It was another fact that for the others he did tell them that his urine if consumed would heal them from diseases, but for himself he was scared of it!
We need to understand Islam is a concoction of mainly (pro and anti) Judaism, Christianity (mainly Catholicism) and Sabian teachings and beliefs. It is also infused a lot with the traditions that existed at that time.
Jesus did such miracles in these places where people thought themselves to be very wise, where their wisdom and traditions prevented them from accepting God and Him.
This place Bethsaida and its people were named by Jesus as condemned worse than the people of Tyre and Sidon (they too did change when the disciples preached there). All these condemned cities are today just ruins.
One thing I have learned through my experience that at times God play jokes on the wise in their own wisdom and smartness and that time they are very disastrous ones.
God is telling us our worldly wisdom and traditions are laughed at by God and those who live by it will be made fools when the time comes.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray You mould our hearts that we seek You and the knowledge of your Kingdom more than the knowledge of this world. Lord let not our hearts be hardened or puffed by the knowledge and traditions of this world...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam [pool near Bethsaida], (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.
13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.
23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Matthew 23:13 - But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Matthew 23:14 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Matthew 23:15 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
Matthew 23:16 - Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
Matthew 23:23 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Matthew 23:25 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Matthew 23:27 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
Matthew 23:29 - Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
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